Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals Saturday preview
Friday night qualifying at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals is usually one of the highlights of any season and this year’s edition did not disappoint. The packed house at Bandimere Speedway witnessed an awesome display of horsepower including low qualifying efforts by Tony Stewart Racing teammates Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan in Top Fuel and Funny Car, as well as stellar performances by Pro Stock provisional low qualifier Aaron Stanfield and Matt Smith, who set the track record in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
It's no secret Pruett’s Dodge Power Brokers team has struggled this season but their recent semifinal finish in Norwalk has provided a lot of optimism. The same can be said for her performance on Friday, which included a strong 3.788 that currently leads the 17-car Top Fuel field.
Pruett is followed by a couple of drivers who one might not epect to challenge for the top spot;. Greg Carrillo and Clay Millican. Carrillo, the former Super Comp ace who typically competes in a handful of events, drove to a 3.824 while Millican is third with a 3.826 in his Parts Plus entry.
Championship leader Mike Salinas begins the day in the No. 8 spot while Brittany Force is No. 14 so both will look to improve during today’s two sessions.
Hagan, the defending Denver Funny Car champ, continued his mastery of the Bandimere track with a 3.927 to take the provisional No. 1 spot. He’s followed closely by Norwalk winner Robert Hight (3.936) and Tim Wilkerson (3.973). Hagan was quickest in both of Friday’s sessions, banking six more qualifying bonus points as he pursues his fourth Camping World series championship.
The rest of the top half in Funny Car includes John Force, Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria, J.R. Todd, and Paul Lee.
Aaron Stanfield has had one of the best cars in Pro Stock at every race this season so it’s not much of a surprise to see the two-time Factory Stock champ at the top of the qualifying charts. Stanfield led both sessions with a best of 6.946 in his Janac Bros/J3 Energy Camaro.
The Cuadra family also enjoyed a solid day on Friday with Fernando Jr. driving to a 6.953 for the No. 2 spot while brother, Cristian, is fourth with a 6.957. Matt Hartford also posted a 6.957 for the No. 3 spot.
Surprisingly, championship leader Erica Enders did not make a clean run in either session so she begins the day in the No. 14 spot. Dallas Glenn, Mason McGaha, and Kyle Koretsky also enter Saturday in the bottom half of the field and will look to improve today.
Smith’s track record 7.107 in Pro Stock Motorcycle easily qualifies as the run of the event so far. The reigning world champ and defending event champion has a seven-hundredths lead over the rest of the field with Norwalk winner Angelle Sampey in the No. 2 spot at 7.171 while Steve Johnson is third quickest with a 7.180 and Smith’s wife, Angie, is fourth after a 7.184 on her Denso Buell.
In addition to the Camping World NHRA Series pros, the dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-Hight Nationals will also feature the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and a special Mile-High No Time Shootout featuring some of the country’s quickest street cars.
You can catch the action all weekend on FOX Sports 1 and NHRA.tv.
You can follow NHRA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get a closer look at the action.
2021 EVENT WINNERS
Steve Torrence, Top Fuel; Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Matt Smith, Pro Stock Motorcycle. (Pro Stock not contested).
3.717 seconds by Brittany Force, July 2021; 330.31 mph by Steve Torrence, July 2019
3.889 seconds by Courtney Force, July 2017; 328.30 mph by Courtney Force, July 2017.
6.877 seconds by Allen Johnson, July 2015; 201.01 mph by Shane Gray, July 2015
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
7.107 seconds by Matt Smith, July 2022; 189.73 by Eddie Krawiec, July 2021.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 16 at 2:30 and 6 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 17.
SUNDAY, July 17, FS1 will televise 90 minutes of qualifying at 11 a.m. (ET)
SUNDAY, June 19, FOX network television will televise 3 hours of finals coverage at 4 p.m. (ET)